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Seizure of British troops in Sierra Leone provokes demands for withdrawal

By Chris Marsden, 31 August 2000

The abduction of 11 members of the Royal Irish Regiment and one Sierra Leonean soldier on Friday has led to demands by the Conservative and Liberal parties on the government to withdraw the 300-strong British force. Five of the 11 officers were released late on Wednesday. They were part of over 200 British troops from the 1st Battalion of the Irish Regiment helping train the Sierra Leone Army as part of continued attempts to subdue the rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF). Britain sent 1,000 troops to Sierra Leone in May to prevent the RUF taking control of the capital, Freetown. The bulk of the troops were withdrawn in June, but 300 soldiers and numerous civilian personnel were left behind to train the Sierra Leone Army and pro-government militias and to take effective charge of the country's government.

Welfare report recommends steps to end Australia's postwar social security system

By Terry Cook, 31 August 2000

On August 16, the Howard government's Reference Group on Welfare Reform, chaired by Patrick McClure, director of the charity organisation Mission Australia, delivered its final report outlining measures that will bring about a fundamental shift in the social welfare system in Australia.

Security preparations in Australia for upcoming World Economic Forum

By Chris Sinnema, 31 August 2000

Extensive security measures are being put in place by the Australian federal and Victorian state governments in preparation for protests being planned at the Asia Pacific Summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF), being held September 11-13 at Melbourne's Crown Casino complex.

Australian poet Judith Wright (1915-2000): an appreciation

By Tony Cornwell, 31 August 2000

Judith Wright, a respected Australian poet and writer on poetry and latterly better known as a conservationist and campaigner for aboriginal rights, died in hospital in Canberra on June 26 at the age of 85. Her achievement in translating the Australian experience into poetry led in her best work to a rich inheritance of lyricism and directness.

Detroit police kill deaf mute

By Jerry White, 31 August 2000

Detroit police officers on Tuesday shot and killed a deaf and mute man whom they say was “menacing” them with a garden rake. Relatives and neighbors who witnessed the shooting of 39-year-old Errol Shaw Sr. said police ignored their shouts that the man could not hear or speak and their pleas not to shoot him. The fatal shooting is the latest for the Detroit Police Department, which leads the US in police killings.

Hostile bid for London Stock Exchange from Sweden's OM Group

By Chris Marsden, 31 August 2000

The world of international finance became just that bit more cut-throat this week, after Sweden's OM Group made a hostile £808m takeover bid for the London Stock Exchange (LSE). OM's bid is the first-ever hostile move against a bourse. A similar friendly bid was rejected by the LSE last week.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 31 August 2000

French fishermen protest the high price of fuel

Clinton visit inaugurates Colombian intervention

By Bill Vann, 30 August 2000

President Bill Clinton's eight-hour visit to the Caribbean port city of Cartagena August 30 marks the initiation of “Plan Colombia,” the blueprint for an open-ended US military intervention on the South American continent.

Turkish army kills Kurdish civilians in north Iraq

By Justus Leicht, 30 August 2000

According to reports from various groups, on August 15 and 17 the Turkish airforce carried out a number of sorties in the north east province of Erbil in the north of Iraq resulting in a high tally of either dead or wounded civilians, mainly women and children.

BHP makes record profit but the markets are far from satisfied

By Peter Stavropoulos, 30 August 2000

Last month, BHP, one of Australia's largest companies, announced the highest net profit in its 115-year history. The $A1.63 billion profit ($2.03 billion before abnormal items were deducted) was also a record $3.9 billion turnaround from last year when the giant minerals and steel corporation recorded a net loss of $2.3 billion—the largest ever for an Australian firm.

Moscow's Ostankino TV tower goes up in flames

By Patrick Richter, 30 August 2000

On Sunday afternoon, Moscow inhabitants watched incredulously as the city's landmark Ostankino TV tower, one of the technical miracles of the post-war period, went up in flames. As the blaze spread through the tower the stabilising steel cables inside were melting one after another in the intense heat, threatening to send the whole building toppling over.

Discovery of Chilean boy's body highlights role of Lagos government's accord with military

By Mauricio Saavedra, 30 August 2000

The tragic story of the Farina family, who after three decades located the body of their 13-year-old brother Carlos Farina—killed by the Chilean military in 1973—is a sharp reminder of the brutal crimes that the government of President Ricardo Lagos is seeking to have excused under a recently-signed accord with the military.

Neo-Nazis confess to brutal killing of Mozambican in east Germany

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 August 2000

Last week, without any visible agitation or signs of regret, three neo-Nazis confessed to beating to death 39-year-old Mozambican Alberto Adriano in June this year in the eastern German city of Dessau. The Federal Prosecutor's Office has accused the three defendants—aged 16 to 24—of murder.

United Airlines, pilots union reach deal

By Cory Johnson, 29 August 2000

United Airlines management and negotiators for the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) reached a tentative agreement Saturday after months of protests by pilots against the slow pace of negotiations. Neither the airlines nor management have released any details of the deal, which must be approved by the union's executive board meeting September 6-8 before being taken to United's 10,500 pilots for ratification.

New measures against football hooligans undermine civil liberties in Britain

By Julie Hyland, 29 August 2000

Controversial measures banning suspected football hooligans from travelling abroad came into force in Britain on Monday.

Eight immigrants die attempting to reach Greece

By Richard Tyler, 29 August 2000

Sometime during Saturday night, a small wooden boat carrying 31 immigrants and their Turkish captain capsized in the Aegean. Coastguards rescued six of those on board and one was able to swim ashore. Eight bodies were recovered, but 17 are missing, presumed drowned.

Ruling party in Mexico suffers another defeat in Chiapas state vote

By Patrick Martin, 29 August 2000

The Partido Revolucionario Institutional (PRI—Institutional Revolution Party) was swept from power August 20 in the state of Chiapas in southern Mexico, in the first statewide election after the PRI's historic defeat in the July 2 presidential election. Chiapas is one of eight impoverished southern states which have been strongholds of the PRI throughout its 71 years in power nationally, but Pablo Salazar, candidate of an eight-party opposition coalition, easily defeated Sami David of the PRI, 57 percent to 43 percent.

The sinking of the Kursk and the crisis of the Russian military

By Ute Reissner, 29 August 2000

The sinking of a nuclear submarine of the Russian North Sea fleet on the 12th of August occurred in the midst of a conflict between the Defence Ministry in Moscow and the Russian Chief of General Staff, which had grown increasingly heated over the previous weeks.

Australian government seeks to push through revamped military call-out bill

By Mike Head, 29 August 2000

The Australian government and the opposition Labor Party are pushing a military call-out Bill through the Senate this week in time for next month's planned protests at the World Economic Forum in Melbourne and the Olympic Games in Sydney.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 29 August 2000

Mexican government orders Volkswagen strikers back to work

Letters on WSWS coverage of US elections

By , 28 August 2000

HL 12 August 2000

Watching the American political conventions: impressions of the uninitiated

By Margaret Rees, 28 August 2000

To an overseas visitor, the overwhelming impression one takes from the Republican and Democratic conventions is that of garish extravaganzas designed to avoid any discussion of substantive issues. The spectre looming over the events was Clinton's impeachment—but both parties alluded to this traumatic episode only in the most veiled manner.

India: Shivasena leader Bal Thackery escapes prosecution

By our reporter, 28 August 2000

Bal Thackery, the leader of the Hindu chauvinist party Shivasena, has been cleared of all charges. He was formally arrested on July 25 and charged with inciting the nationwide communal violence that lasted from December, 1992 to January, 1993, following the demolition of the seventeenth century Babri mosque. As a result of these riots, more than 2,000 Muslims were massacred by Hindu fanatics, most of whom were members of Shivasena.

The public debate on right-wing violence in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 28 August 2000

For over three weeks now, public discussion in Germany has been dominated by the topic of right-wing violence. Not a day passes without editorialists, commentators, statesmen and politicians coming up with new proposals and resolutions on how to counter the brazen conduct of neo-fascist groups and the wave of violence against foreigners.

Record US trade deficit a symptom of deeper economic problems

By Nick Beams, 28 August 2000

Earlier this month the Commerce Department reported that the US trade deficit had hit yet another monthly record, reaching $30.62 billion for June.

Police raid on British prison raises awkward questions

By Keith Lee, 28 August 2000

The parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee has launched an inquiry into why nearly 100 prison officers made a late night raid on what is regarded as one of Britain's most progressive prisons.

Other letters to the WSWS

By , 28 August 2000

Hi there!

The Kurdish Tragedy—PKK activists on trial for murdering a Kurdish couple in Bremen

By Justus Leicht and Ute Reissner, 26 August 2000

Some weeks ago a trial began in Bremen, Germany against four activists from the nationalist “Workers Party of Kurdistan” (PKK). They are accused of the savage killing of a young couple, Ayse Dizim and Serif Alpsoman, who contravened Kurdish traditions and the will of the PKK by marrying and living together.

Sri Lankan government exploits allegations of murder and torture against opposition

By Sarath Kumara, 26 August 2000

In the lead up to parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka in October, the arrest of former Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Douglas Peiris at Colombo airport on August 3, after four years in exile, has directly raised the issue of the murder and disappearance of thousands of rural youth in the country's south in the late 1980s by death squads linked to security forces.

The Firestone recall: new evidence implicates Firestone and Ford in tire failures

By Joseph Kay, 26 August 2000

As the recall of Firestone tires proceeds in the United States and the number of complaints grows, new evidence suggests that the practices of both Bridgestone/Firestone and Ford Motor Company were involved in the widespread failure of the tires. Most of the tire failures involved Ford Explorer sport utility vehicles.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 26 August 2000

South Korean hotel strike ends

An exchange of letters on AIDS/HIV

By , 26 August 2000

The World Socialist Web Site has received the following letter from a reader on HIV/AIDS, to which Chris Talbot replies below.

US telecom union ends strike at Verizon

By our correspondent, 26 August 2000

Three days after the Communication Workers of America (CWA) split the ranks of striking Verizon workers and ordered the majority back to work, the union ended the walkout by the remaining 37,000 workers Wednesday with a package designed to boost the company's productivity and competitive position. The agreement brings to an end the strike, launched August 6, by 87,000 members of the CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) against the US's largest local and wireless phone provider.

Canadian Alliance and Bloc Quebecois rubbing shoulders

By Guy Charron, 26 August 2000

Stockwell Day, the new leader of the right-wing Canadian Alliance which forms the official Opposition in Ottawa, created a stir recently when he indicated that he was ready to enter in a coalition with the Quebec-separatist Bloc Quebecois in the event the reigning Liberals should lose their majority in the national elections expected this fall or spring.

Verizon striker describes hi-tech speedup

By , 26 August 2000

The following is an interview with a Verizon worker in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania about the conditions phone workers confront. Patrick has worked for three-and-a-half years as a customer service representative and customer repairperson for Bell Atlantic and then Verizon. He began by denouncing the agreement accepted by the Communication Workers of America for workers in the New York and New England regions.

Strike at New York's Museum of Modern Art enters fifth month

By Fred Mazelis, 26 August 2000

This week marks the end of the fourth month on strike for several hundred white-collar workers at New York's Museum of Modern Art. The workers, including assistant curators, librarians, archivists, bookstore employees and others, walked out on April 28 in a dispute over a new contract.

Jailed US nuclear scientist granted bail as government case unravels

By Patrick Martin, 26 August 2000

A federal judge has granted bail to Wen Ho Lee, the Asian-American nuclear physicist who has been held in solitary confinement for eight months. Lee is the target of a government and media witch hunt on charges of espionage at the Los Alamos, New Mexico weapons laboratory.

How an Australian discount airline funds its cutprice fares

By Terry Cook, 25 August 2000

Australian discount carrier, Impulse Airlines, recently announced a sharp reduction in fares on some of the country's main national routes, immediately sparking a price-cutting war with the two major airlines, Qantas and Ansett.

Corruption at Paris city hall

By our correspondent, 25 August 2000

Events in the last few weeks have underscored the depth of corruption and disunity in France's political parties.

Former British spy David Shayler arrested for breaching Official Secrets Act

By Chris Marsden, 25 August 2000

Former MI5 intelligence officer David Shayler was arrested Monday after arriving back in Britain from exile in France. His girlfriend Annie Machon, another former MI5 officer, accompanied him. Shayler was freed on bail after being charged with two offences under the Official Secrets Act, which bars Whitehall officials and military staff from revealing sensitive information. If convicted, Shayler could face a maximum four-year prison sentence.

Support for Western military intervention provokes divisions within Amnesty International

By Richard Tyler, 25 August 2000

Amnesty International's Report 2000 details widespread human rights abuses over the past year, painting a bleak picture of the situation confronting billions at the dawn of the twenty-first century. It exhaustively documents the assault on every continent against such basic democratic rights as freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention and torture, and freedom of expression and association.

Basque separatists step up terrorist activities

By Peter Norden, 25 August 2000

The Basque separatist organization ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna —Basque Country and Liberty) has dramatically increased its terrorist activities throughout Spain.

A conversation with Indian filmmaker Ketan Mehta

By Richard Phillips, 25 August 2000

Indian film director, Ketan Mehta, recently spoke with the World Socialist Web Site during a short visit to Australia. A graduate of India's Film and Television Institute, the director, who is not related to Deepa Mehta, made Hindi-language television programs and documentaries before rising to prominence in India with a series of feature films in the 1980s.

Journalists face spying charges in Liberia

By Chris Talbot, 25 August 2000

Four journalists arrested in Monrovia, in the African state of Liberia, are in prison facing charges of spying. They had been filming and conducting interviews in Liberia for the last four weeks for British-based Channel 4 television.

US elections: Gore ticket rushes to reassure big business

By Kate Randall, 24 August 2000

In the weekend following the Democratic National Convention, presidential candidate Al Gore campaigned in the Midwest, traveling down the Mississippi River and making stops in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. But while Gore continued to make stump speeches denouncing corporate “special interests” and portraying himself as the champion of working families, his running mate Joseph Lieberman quietly let it be known that big business had nothing to fear from a Gore administration.

The enigma of the baroque

By Tim Tower, 24 August 2000

Critics during the Enlightenment coined the term “baroque” to denounce artistic forms that suggested movement, texture and disequilibrium, which they considered extravagant and confused, even bizarre, when compared to the symmetrical and stable elements of the prevailing classicist aesthetic. Despite the fact the new forms had first appeared as distortions, they seemed to fill a need and quickly spread throughout Europe. “The Triumph of the Baroque” is an exhibition of architectural models, on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC through October 9. As students of the art of the period look deeper into its essential character, they have tended to extend the influence of baroque elements, which are now recognized to have stretched from Rome to Amsterdam, and from 1600 to 1750.

Ulster Defence Association leader arrested after intra-Loyalist violence in Belfast

By Julie Hyland, 24 August 2000

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson has returned Ulster Defence Association leader Johnny “Mad Dog” Adair to prison after an internecine feud between rival Loyalist gangs claimed two lives on Monday. British troops also resumed general patrols on Belfast's streets for the first time in months.

New Zealand rail workers' deaths a result of privatisation and the drive for profit

By John Braddock, 24 August 2000

The grieving families of New Zealand rail workers killed in workplace accidents have recounted their anguish to an official inquiry over the last two weeks. The testimonies concluded with an emotional plea from a worker's widow for the commission not to ignore the tragedies.

Indonesian parliamentary session marked by collaboration between "reformers" and Suharto's Golkar

By James Conachy, 24 August 2000

The annual two-week session of Indonesia's Peoples Consultative Assembly (MPR) from August 7 to 18 witnessed growing collaboration between Golkar, the political machine of the former Suharto military dictatorship, and the Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P), led by Vice-President Megawati Sukarnoputri.

US union leaders split ranks of striking telecom workers

By a correspondent, 24 August 2000

The Communication Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) ordered 50,000 workers in New York and New England to end their walkout Monday and abandon 37,000 co-workers who remain on strike against Verizon Communications in five mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia. The virtual strike-breaking move, organized by the unions themselves, is a brazen betrayal of the workers who remain on strike in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia and Washington, DC. It undermines their resistance to the telecommunication giant's demands for forced overtime, speed-up and downsizing.

Police spies active in protests at Democratic convention

By John Andrews, 24 August 2000

The 20,000 protesters at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles last week included dozens, if not hundreds, of Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) infiltrators, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times published August 18.

Erich Mielke—the career of a German Stalinist

By Ludwig Niethammer, 24 August 2000

On May 26 Erich Mielke, who for years had headed the East German secret police, or Stasi, died aged 92 years in an East Berlin old people's home. Mielke was probably the most hated man in the German Democratic Republic (GDR—East Germany). History will record him as one of the greatest Stalinist criminals, whose name will be mentioned in the same breath as Vyshinsky, the chief prosecutor at the Moscow trials, or Stalin's secret service bosses Yezhov , Yagoda and Beria.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 24 August 2000

Ukrainian miners begin protests over compensation, wage arrears

The rise and fall and rise again of John Waters

By David Walsh, 23 August 2000

This is the best American film I've seen this year, and probably the only that does something to advance the pleasure principle.

Dominican death squad sentenced in '75 murder

By Tomas Rodriguez, 23 August 2000

A quarter of a century after gunning down their victim in the streets of Santo Domingo, four members of a government-backed death squad were sentenced earlier this month to 30 years each in prison for the political murder.

Israeli banks and institutions kept Nazi victims' assets

By Jean Shaoul, 23 August 2000

Evidence is emerging from an Israeli parliamentary committee and court action that some of the pillars of the Israeli financial establishment hung on to the assets of Jews who died under the Nazi regime and blocked attempts by the victims' families to seek justice. The committee has recommended an independent audit of at least 12,000 dormant accounts and 5,000 safe deposit boxes at Bank Leumi.

Putin's "Chernobyl": The tragedy of the Russian submarine disaster in the Barents Sea

By Vladimir Volkov and Julia Dänenberg, 23 August 2000

The tragedy of the Russian nuclear-powered submarine Kursk in the Barents Sea has lasted over a week. Millions of people all over the world have been witness to an unbelievable display of incompetence, spinelessness, arrogance and hypocrisy on the part of the Russian political elite and military, with President Vladimir Putin at their head.

One thousand protest death penalty near Pennsylvania's death row

By Eula Holmes, 23 August 2000

On Sunday, August 13, close to 1,000 opponents of the death penalty attended a rally near the gates of the state prison that houses Pennsylvania's death row inmates and death chamber. The prison is located in Waynesburg, 45 miles south of Pittsburgh.

Splits in Peoples Alliance regime as Sri Lanka heads for general election

By Wije Dias, 23 August 2000

On August 18, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga dissolved the Sri Lankan parliament and announced that the country's general election would be held on October 10. The dissolution was rushed through six days prior to the scheduled closing of parliament, in order to bring the elections forward and undermine the campaigns of opposition parties. The president's action flows from a deep policy crisis within her Peoples Alliance (PA) regime as well as widening splits within the main coalition party, her own Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP).

Turkish president in conflict with government and military

By Justus Leicht, 23 August 2000

A conflict described by Turkish Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit as a potential “state crisis” was shakily resolved last week in Turkey, and may in fact have only been shelved temporarily. The immediate cause of the conflict was the reluctance of the Turkish president, former Constitutional Court Chairman Ahmet Sezer, to sign a government decree that would allow the authorities to fire politically “inconvenient” government officials and employees. The background to the legal squabble, however, is the increasing desperation and disorientation of the Turkish establishment, which is finding its expression in severe internal conflicts and the growing influence of the military.

Sri Lankan Socialist Equality Party to contest general election

By , 23 August 2000

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP), the Sri Lankan section of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), has decided to contest the general election scheduled for October 10.

Bank of Japan lifts interest rates

By Joe Lopez, 22 August 2000

Despite opposition from the Japanese government and International Monetary Fund concerns over the stability of the economy, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced the first interest rate rise in a decade earlier this month, ending the “zero interest rate” regime of the past 18 months.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 22 August 2000

Uruguayan truckers break truce

Gore's newfound populism: an ossified establishment confronts the class chasm in America

By Barry Grey, 22 August 2000

In his speech last Thursday to the Democratic National Convention, Vice President Al Gore, the party's presidential candidate, struck a populist tone, presenting himself as a champion of working people and battler against “powerful forces and powerful interests.”

War crimes tribunal report shows Western powers exaggerated Kosovo victims of ethnic cleansing

By Mike Ingram, 22 August 2000

“The final number of bodies uncovered will be less than 10,000 and probably more accurately determined as between two and three thousand.” This was the conclusion reached by The Hague tribunal into war crimes in Kosovo as reported by press spokesman Paul Risley last Thursday.

Australian film technicians defend Deepa Mehta

By Richard Phillips, 22 August 2000

As regular readers of the World Socialist Web Site will be aware, Hindu fundamentalists stopped production of Deepa Mehta's film Water in India last February, working with the tacit or open support of the Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP), the main party in India's National Democratic Alliance government and the party in power in Uttar Pradesh.

Educational testing as a global industry

By Margaret Rees, 22 August 2000

Standardized testing of great numbers of students has become a global industry with huge financial stakes and its own vested interest in expansion. Computerisation has given testing corporations the capacity to sell their products to educational authorities worldwide. Around the globe, students' lives are dominated by the amount of testing they are subjected to in school.

Scientists achieve cellular transformation of bone marrow stem cells into nerve cells

By Frank Gaglioti, 22 August 2000

Scientists announced on 15 August that they have transformed adult bone marrow cells into nerve cells by altering the cells' environment. The implications are that scientists will be able to obtain a deeper insight into the process of cell specialisation.

Enormes Reducciones en los Sectores Bancarios, Automovilísticos, Petroleros y de Ventas al Detalle

By , 22 August 2000

WSWS : Español

Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline gets the go-ahead

By David Rowan, 21 August 2000

The World Bank recently approved the development of an oil pipeline that will run from Doba in the south of Chad to the port of Kribi, 1,040 kilometres (663 miles) away on Cameroon's Atlantic coast. After deliberations lasting seven years the World Bank finally agreed to a $222 million loan package towards the $3.7 billion cost of the Doba project, with the balance of funds coming from private investors.

Fiji's regime charges coup leaders with treason

By Tim Joy, 21 August 2000

In an apparent effort to retain Western backing and lure foreign investment, Fiji's military-appointed government charged coup leader George Speight and 14 others with treason on August 11. By laying such serious charges—treason carries the death penalty—the regime seems anxious to prove that it is in firm control of the Pacific island state.

Australian court dismisses "Stolen Generations" test case

By Mike Head, 21 August 2000

An Australian Federal Court judge on August 11 dismissed a test case on the federal government's liability for the “Stolen Generations”—the estimated 30,000 part-Aboriginal children who were forcibly separated from their parents in the first seven decades of the 20th century.

Education and the 2000 elections: Texas miracle debunked

By Debra Watson, 21 August 2000

US Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush is fiercely fighting for the mantle of education reform in the 2000 election campaign. During their speeches at the Republican convention both Bush and his wife Laura claimed that Texas was making dramatic improvements in public education. The so-called Texas miracle has become the backdrop for Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush's education rhetoric in the campaign.

Bomb explodes in the middle of Moscow—terrorism and politics in Russia

By Vladimir Volkov, 21 August 2000

The bomb explosion which rocked the centre of Moscow on August 8 has once again vividly highlighted the political instability of Russian society.

Letters to the WSWS

By , 19 August 2000

15 August 2000

Amnesty International protests shackling of jailed US scientist

By Patrick Martin, 19 August 2000

The human rights organization Amnesty International has written to the US Department of Justice protesting the conditions under which nuclear physicist Wen Ho Lee has been held since he was placed in pretrial detention last December. These conditions are a violation of UN rules for the treatment of prisoners that have been accepted by the US government.

US job cuts hit truck manufacturing, banking and Internet companies

By Joseph Kay, 19 August 2000

The first weeks of August have seen a continuation of corporate downsizing as the US economy continues to show signs of slowing. There was a surge of layoffs in July, when job cuts totaled 63,967, a 17 percent increase over layoffs in July of 1999, and a 370 percent increase over the statistics for June of this year. This trend is affecting a wide range of sectors, from manufacturing to new Internet startups, as corporations move to increase efficiency and maintain profits through layoffs and restructuring.

Pinochet Pierde la Inmunidad, Pero el Gobierno Chileno Trata de Protegerlo

By , 19 August 2000

WSWS : Español

Israel-Palestine: Barak and Arafat face mounting political opposition

By Jean Shaoul, 19 August 2000

President Bill Clinton's failed attempt to force through an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians at Camp David continues to reverberate throughout the Middle East.

Right-wing conspiracy continues: new grand jury to investigate Clinton

By David Walsh, 19 August 2000

The report that Independent Counsel Robert Ray has impaneled a new grand jury to look into evidence against President Bill Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky affair demonstrates that the conflict within the American ruling elite that resulted in Clinton's impeachment continues to rage.

Who is watching Big Brother and why?

By Julie Hyland, 19 August 2000

The TV programme Big Brother first aired in Britain on July 14. It involves 10 strangers sharing a house for 10 weeks, their every action monitored by closed circuit cameras and relayed 24 hours a day to millions of viewers via a dedicated web site. Edited highlights can be followed daily on Channel 4 television. Each week one of the participants is evicted by phone vote, following secret nominations by their housemates. The last one remaining wins £70,000.

Idle Running: a comic story about a lethargic student

By Mile Klindo, 19 August 2000

Idle Running (V Leru) is a charming Slovenian comedy about Dizzi, a disillusioned and somewhat cynical adult-age university student. The film, directed by 35-year-old Janez Burger, who graduated from Prague's Film and Television Academy in 1996, has won awards at several international film festivals.

Workers Struggles; Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 19 August 2000

Taiwanese telecom workers rally against government

Rise in juvenile suicides in Britain's prisons

By Liz Smith, 19 August 2000

The suicide and attempted suicide of two 17-year-olds whilst serving sentences in young offenders' institutions has again drawn attention to the issue of the ill treatment of young prisoners in Britain.

Republican vice-presidential nominee gets $20 million payoff from US oil company

By Patrick Martin, 18 August 2000

Halliburton Corporation, the world's largest oilfield services company, confirmed August 16 that Republican vice presidential nominee Richard Cheney will receive a “golden handshake” worth up to $20 million upon his retirement as chief executive officer of the firm.

Among the delegates to the Democratic National Convention: Complacency, conservatism and a few sparks of discontent

By Jerry White and at the DNC in Los Angeles, 18 August 2000

“They say it's there, but I'm not aware of it.” That was the response to a question on the growth of social inequality posed by this reporter to a delegate who was wildly applauding after Bill Clinton's speech to the Democratic National Convention. Her remark, though particularly stark in its expression of complacency, was not untypical of the comments this reporter got while interviewing delegates on the floor of the convention.

US: Forced overtime and job security key issues in Verizon strike

By our correspondent, 18 August 2000

The Communication Workers of America (CWA) has threatened to break off negotiations if no agreement is reached by Thursday evening in the strike by 87,000 telecommunication workers against Verizon Communications on the East Coast.

Executions in Oklahoma and Texas

By Kate Randall, 18 August 2000

John Satterwhite, 53, died by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas at 6:29 p.m. Wednesday. He had been convicted of the 1979 murder of Mary Francis Davis, 54, at a store in San Antonio, Texas.

Why the Far Eastern Economic Review has opened its pages to the radical left in Indonesia

By Peter Symonds, 18 August 2000

One of the most significant articles to appear about Indonesia in the international press recently was an interview with Budiman Soedjatmiko, chairman of Indonesia's leftist People's Democratic Party (PRD), in the June 22 issue of the Far Eastern Economic Review.

LinuxWorld Conference highlights corporate interest in alternative computer operating system

By Mike Ingram, 18 August 2000

This years' LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in San José, California took place as US software giant Microsoft faces a court-ordered break-up and only days after the European Union served notice of a number of antitrust actions against it in Europe.

Release of last protesters arrested during Republican convention

By Tom Bishop, 18 August 2000

On August 15 the last of more than 450 protesters arrested during the Republican National Convention (RNC) were released from Philadelphia jails. Most were arrested either committing acts of civil disobedience to protest capital punishment in the US or during a police raid on a warehouse where about 80 people were preparing signs, banners and puppets for demonstrations.

Discovery of nine new planets extends possibility of finding extra terrestrial life

By Frank Gaglioti, 18 August 2000

Three teams of scientists announced the discovery of nine new planets outside our solar system (exoplanets) on August 7, extending the number of known exoplanets to fifty. University of California at Berkeley astronomer Geoffrey Marcy stated, “We're now at the stage where we are finding planets faster than we can investigate them and write up the results.” The announcements were made at the International Astronomical Union meeting held in the English city of Manchester.

Sri Lankan Peoples Alliance regime turns to Sinhala chauvinists

By Sarath Kumara and K. Ratnayake, 18 August 2000

The Peoples Alliance (PA) regime of Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga is pursuing a two-track policy following the withdrawal earlier this month of its devolution package, aimed at ending the 17-year civil war in the Tamil-populated North and East of the country.

Los Angeles police attack protesters at Democratic convention

By Jerry White, 17 August 2000

A spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union has denounced Monday night's attack by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on protesters and others outside the Democratic Party National Convention as “nothing less than an orchestrated police riot.” In a letter to the city attorney, Daniel Tokaji, staff lawyer for the Southern California ACLU, said, “The LAPD has not merely failed to protect demonstrators' right to free speech, it has run roughshod over them.”

Clinton's speech to the Democratic convention: toasting success on the eve of the deluge

By Barry Grey, 17 August 2000

In his speech Monday night to the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, Bill Clinton displayed his most distinctive political asset—his talent for sounding “left” while advancing right-wing policies. As reflected in the enthusiastic response from the delegates on the convention floor, he was very much in his element.

Three recent films

By David Walsh, 17 August 2000

I recall an interview with American actor Richard Gere televised early in the 1980s, probably between his roles in American Gigolo (1980) and An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), in which he discussed his hope of working in the near future with German directors Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Werner Herzog. He spoke somewhat self-importantly about it, but at least the desire existed in him to do something meaningful.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 17 August 2000

Refuse collectors in east London set to strike

Pro-Napster protesters vandalise web sites

By Mike Ingram, 17 August 2000

According to a report by on August 15, Internet vandals have defaced a number of web sites around the world in protest at the court action being taken against music file-swapping service Napster.

Right-wing historian Ernst Nolte receives the Konrad Adenauer Prize for Science

By Stefan Steinberg, 17 August 2000

In Munich on June 4 right-wing historian Ernst Nolte, the main figure in the “Historians debate” of 1986, was awarded the Konrad Adenauer prize from the Germany Institute. The latter was set up in 1966 and has close links to the right-wing of Germany's Christian Democratic Party (CDU.)

Britain: Constant testing increases stress among school pupils

By Liz Smith, 17 August 2000

Two teachers' unions in Britain recently published a report examining the impact of the increase in formal testing, particularly noting a rise in stress suffered by school pupils. The paper by the Professional Association of Teachers (PAT) and the Secondary Heads Association (SHA) “Tested to Destruction?” found that between beginning formal education at age 5 and leaving school at age 17 or 18, pupils will endure at least 75 external assessments, tests and examinations.